The Watergate was one of just three main gates into the medieval town of Youghal. It allowed access to the docks where traders loaded and unloaded goods from ships. The other two gates in existence were the Iron Gate (now the Clock Gate) and the Northern Gate (this has long since been lost to history).
These days, the Watergate forms part of an alley that leads onto Market Square. This is all reclaimed land but in medieval Youghal, the gate led straight onto the quays.
Built in the 13th century, the water gate could have been one of the busiest entrances to the town. Not just goods were loaded here – prisoners being sent to far flung colonies would have passed through along with emigrants seeking a better life.
Watergate is known locally as Cromwell’s Arch, for it was here that Cromwell left Ireland in 1650 after wrecking havoc across the province of Munster.
Just outside the Watergate (towards the North West), once stood the Exchange.